A Little Thunder (Trigger warning)

I took my nap, got up, fiddled with my new watch and checked to see if it has broken yet. Gleeful that it has kept the time for six hours straight I tuck it in my pocket, and fiddle with it’s chain. I move to the living room, the crisp sound of wheels on carpet has become a herald of my journeying. The cats await and I greet them before devouring pizza and strawberries.

Then, the explosion occurs. Everything flashes though the flash is inside my mind. I cannot see my home for thirty seconds, but I am in a silent and still image except for the explosions that come after. I cannot tell if they are thunder or fireworks. I already know this is a harbinger of my next few days, but that the moment is still relieves me.

I try to call M, but he’s not availible. I want to make sure I am still real and that my happiness is not the illusion. It works well enough but I am still facing flickers. I may not sleep tonight. There are no more explosions. I check the weather, it says all is clear. I start to eat again. I can’t eat. The food looks like blood on my hands.

I close my eyes and seek answers on how to proceed inside of myself, i consider too the idea of tomorrow. I had planned to go out.I cut things too closely to my quick if I am now hallucenating fireworks. The smell of rain has been present for days, without a drop while I was awake. Just a sprinkling while I slept. The sky has been clear and even now I can see stars. I roll over to the door, and I look outside at the dry side walk, the starry night.

The stars vanish, washed away as the sky is cleansed by rain. It comes quickly, I still see no lightening but the thunder is explosive, crack. Crack. Boom. My soul is shaken again, but reality stays with me. Instead I can smell the differences, I can see them. The cool air on my flesh heralds in reality again.

I am saved by the rain. My fear has melted down to what is normal for today, my heart stopped trying to out run a horse, and I am left to see my cats staring at the rain. Nymph has never seen rain before and is afraid. Sprite shelters her, and looks to me to see if I need sheltering. I am free. I need no shelter but I welcome it. Two soft warm bundles to remind me that, I am free.

(My keywords for this post made a poem: PTSD, Flashback, recovery, pain, rain, cat, free, smell, sky, clean, free)

Brownies

Too often my writing focuses on difficult topics. I challenge myself to put out a call to action with every word. This is wearing at times and tonight, I decided I needed a treat. There is so little that I can actually eat, I miss things like bread. I miss the texture of it in my mouth, the flavour, but not the pain. I miss a lot, and at times my food allergies debilitate me. I am about to eat home made brownies. They won’t poison me either. Gluten Free brownies are among the best in the world. In some ways my gourmet back ground has helped me to adapt to my limited diet. Being allergic to vitamins I have to try and keep everything balanced. I also have need of more sugar than average to keep a normal reading. My system tests out normally but I eat a lot of sugar. I lost weight once I started giving in to the need for sweet. My sugars often come from fruit.

Not tonight though. Tonight, I dessert in Heaven. I am rarely able to cook, but, aside from taking them out of the oven I did the work. I felt the batter as it swirled beneath my wooden spoon, the crack of the egg sent a shudder of glee into my soul. I also know that my brownies will not be adulterated by a flavor blocking agent. Gluten Free chocolate is the best. Some of the most famous chocolate desserts lack wheat. There are crustless cheese cakes…

I do not feel limited now. I have licked the bowl clean, my Person just took the brownies out of the oven, and I can smell them. The cats are even dancing. They had their own food treats today. Miniature hamburgers. They both are special needs, and the treat made their day. They both curled up at my side until it was chocolate time, sharing in the glee of good food.

It is easy to forget to nourish our bodies with pleasure. Sometimes with food allergies it is difficult to find anything safe, and so bland rules the day. I rarely add spices to food, I hardly use salt, but, tonight? I will have spice and flavour.

Chocolate, my version of catnip. Special brownies for me are the kind I can eat. What is it that you do to reward yourself? Today was the most difficult day I have faced in a very long time, but right now I feel as if I am floating in a heavenly state. It isn’t the chocolate alone, but the sheer amount of love that pervades my home. I hear the soft and tinkling bells of heaven, I feel the song of life in my soul.

Have a brownie, have some life. Feel the love and pass the digital brownie plate on.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (Trigger Warning)

Bette Davis, Joan Crawford…A movie about the horrors disabled people can face with an abuser.

This is one of the most wonderful but horrific films I have ever seen. Joan Crawford plays an actress with a jealous sister who not only tried to kill her but is now her only caregiver. Bette Davis plays all of my worst fears brought to life. She forces Joan to either starve or eat rats, her pet bird, or possibly poisoned food. Their maid, a beautiful African American woman, is the hero in this. It is she who sees the potential for something wrong and refuses to leave the day she is fired, instead insisting on seeing Joan’s character. It is she who saves her from embezzlement, being isolated, beaten, and left to die a slow and horrible death. She was cut off too, no telephone, stuck upstairs, the bell for help taken away. It is horrible to watch.Bette’s performance is that of pure evil, in the loveliest of forms.  The genius of this film is that they use clips of the actresses when they were younger. They build the story up and you feel the pain involved with Joan’s treatment.

This film also highlights the incompetence of others, enabling the abuse. The teller who illegally (possibly not at the time of the film being made) gives cash when a deposit is required. The neighbors who ignore the weak cries for help, though they may not hear. The doctors who ignore the patient’s panicked cry when she could under duress be recanting. I will not spoil the climax of the film, but needless to say, this one touched a nerve. There is murder in this story, no one wins. Hope is torn from the viewer and Joan’s character.

Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman is another film that taps on true life abuses. The abused housewife is not beaten, but is instead told over and over until she believes it that she is insane. His greed is what drives his crimes, polygamy, identity theft, and murder among them. He uses the technology of the day to prove to her she is insane. He too plays on my worst fears. He proves to me that men are evil, a blanket statement that feels utterly true while I watch this movie. It isn’t, but it feels that way. He abuses his wife, publicly and privately humiliating her, forcing her into things that were against her nature.This film was so effective it gave it’s name to an entire term in psychology. Gaslighting is the proper term for causing someone to think they are insane. There is more to this of course, but this is the best I can do to explain right now.

Why am I posting about two films made before my birth? They touched me. They burned my heart up and left me shuddering with memories. They triggered responses in me that were deeper than perhaps intended. I felt the trappedness from my previous experience. I felt the worthlessness of knowing I am wrong at all times, and that my only value to others was at their own pleasure, my own wants and needs coming last. I felt the fists of my father in me again. I felt the harsh words of burden.

I am not a burden, I am not insane, and I am free. I had to chant this at times, the wheelchair a prison during the entire time. I could see even one stair trapping me. I can only remember too well  how few people actually listened when I cried out for help. The cold stabbing feeling of being told my case was not compelling enough to prosecute, that no one wanted to protect a child from  her rapist father.

Caregiver abuse is one of the worst crimes I have ever heard of. Some call it elder abuse, but, elderly folk aren’t the only ones trapped by their bodies. Many are vital and amazingly resiliant. I am posting about these films so that you can perhaps try to feel the things I felt, in lesser measure. These films raise awareness of the plights of the hidden victims in this world. Perhaps even someone you know is enduring secret abuse. You might not be able to save them, but raising awareness even by one, can help them save themselves.

Whatever happened to Baby Jane? Be glad you are not so evil, and if you are, may you see your reflection and set your victim free.

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